Friday Night Fish Fry

First a confession—I made this meal last Saturday (was too tired last Friday) and then didn’t get around to writing it up . . . better late than never.

Lent has had me craving fish fillets, so I looked for some recipes and found a couple that looked like they might work.  One required GF breadcrumbs, which I was all out of (will try this one next time) . . . the other was a rice-flour-based batter which I adapted to be dairy-free as well.  I put some clean oil in my Fry Daddy and put together a GF Fish Fry.


Menu Note: Due to my CFS (which greatly limits my ability to cook for a long time and/or do more than one thing at a time), I prepared everything except the catfish nuggets earlier in the day.  The slaw & guacamole need to chill.  The beans and rice can be reheated while you are cooking the fish.

Catfish Nuggets


  • 1 pound catfish nuggets (or other white fish like tilapia; catfish nuggets come already chopped up and are cheaper than buying a fillet and cutting it up yourself)
  • 1-1/4 cup rice flour (or other GF blend), divided
  • 1-1/2 tsp chili powder, divided
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup soy milk (or other dairy-free “milk”)
  • salt & pepper
  • oil for frying


  • Preheat oven to 200°F (for keeping the nuggets warm after they are fried)
  • Combine 1/2 cup of the flour and 1 tsp chili powder in a shallow dish for dredging.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together the egg, the remaining 3/4 cup flour, soy milk, salt & pepper, and 1/2 tsp chili powder.  Add extra “milk” if the batter is too thick.
  • Heat oil (I’m guessing the Fry Daddy heats the oil to somewhere between 350°F & 400°F, but the beauty of the Fry Daddy is it keeps the oil at an even heat . . . the original recipe tells how to do this in a fry pan instead)
  • Dredge 3-4 nuggets in the seasoned flour, then run through the batter and carefully place the nuggets in the hot oil.  Stir gently to make sure the nuggets don’t get stuck together.  Cook for 6-8 minutes or until golden.
  • Remove nuggets from oil with a slotted spoon and place on a paper-towel-covered plate.  Sprinkle with kosher salt and place in a warm oven to keep warm as you fry the remaining nuggets.


  • If I made this recipe again, I would try it without the dredging step.  I’m pretty sure the batter would stick without it and it made the coating too thick.  Another option would be to make the batter thinner.
  • If you are frying on the stove or using a different type of fryer it would be wise to “test fry” a single nugget to see what the optimum frying time is for your setup.
  • If you have access to decent GF tortillas you can turn the above into delicious Fish Tacos.  Warm a tortilla, top with rice, beans, a couple of nuggets, some slaw & a spoonful of guacamole.  Fold & Enjoy! (I prefer just piling everything on a plate or in a bowl.)

Broccoli Slaw

Mix together:

  • 10 oz bag of cole or broccoli slaw mix
  • 1/3 cup GF mayo
  • 1 Tbls white vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • salt & pepper to taste

Chill at least one hour, stirring occasionally.


  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1/4 medium red onion, diced
  • 2 T cilantro, minced
  • 1 large spoon diced tomatoes (fresh or saved from beans recipe)
  • 1 T lemon &/or lime juice

Mix together and chill.

© 2012, Highly Sensitive Girl



Quinoa & Sesame Bread

Quinoa & Sesame Bread

gluten-free, dairy-free, corn-free

Inspired by the recipe for “Quinoa Sesame ‘Wonder’ Bread” (in Gluten-Free Makeovers by Beth Hillson, 2011, DaCapo/LifeLong/Perseus Book Group, Cambridge, MA) I bought some quinoa flour and sesame seeds this week. I had no interest in the “Wonder Bread texture” mentioned in the recipe, so rather than using equal parts quinoa/cornstarch/tapioca starch, I added fiber with sorghum and millet flours, and cut back on the starches. (I believe this will also be the first loaf I have made containing NO arrowroot starch, the typical replacement for cornstarch.)

I also noticed that the ingredients and method (of Hillman’s recipe) were very similar to the High Fiber Bread I made a few days ago, so I decided to play a bit with my hand-mixing technique (still no stand mixer). (1) I mixed the yeast in with the other dry ingredients and added slightly warmer water (rather than proofing first) and (2) I borrowed a method from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s The Bread Bible: mixing the dough without salt and letting it rest a bit before adding the salt and additional water. (Salt is known to interfere with the yeast action, so giving the yeast a chance to start working before adding the salt helps with the rising.) I really liked the texture of the dough going into the pan. Finally, to try to avoid the “holey sunken middle” problem, I worked more at smoothing the dough in the pan to remove any possible air pockets.


  • 1 to 2 Tbls sesame seeds
  • 1-1/4 cups quinoa flour
  • 1/2 cup sorghum flour
  • 1/2 cup millet flour
  • 1/2 cup tapioca starch
  • 1/2 cup potato starch
  • 3 Tbls brown sugar
  • 3-1/2 tsp guar gum
  • 2-1/2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 Tbls oil
  • 1-1/8 cup water, warmed to 120°F
  • 1-1/2 tsp salt


  • Make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature. [I usually measure out my flours into a large bowl, take the eggs and any other refrigerated ingredients out of the frig, and let them sit on the counter while I do something else for 30-60 minutes.]
  • Grease one 8-1/2″ x 4-1/2″ loaf pan.
  • Heat a dry skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sesame seeds and stir continuously until they begin to brown. Remove from the heat and cool.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine quinoa, sorghum, and millet flours, tapioca starch, potato starch, brown sugar, guar gum, and yeast. Stir/whisk together until everything is evenly combined.
  • Heat the water to 120°F (if you haven’t done that already—see NOTE).
  • In a separate medium bowl, beat together the eggs and the oil.
  • Add approximately 1/2 cup of the water to the dry ingredients. Stir well. Add the egg/oil mixture. Stir well.
  • Sprinkle the sesame seeds over the dough. [I reserved about 1 tsp of sesame seeds for the top of the bread, but the original recipe didn’t do this; we’ll see if they burn in the oven.] Stir everything together. At this point you should have a very rough dry-ish dough that almost holds together. If much loose flour remains in the bowl, add a bit more water and stir. Cover the bowl of dough and let it rest for 5-10 minutes. [This will allow the gum to absorb water and the yeast to start working.]
  • Sprinkle the salt and 1/2 the remaining water over the dough. Stir together. Decide if you need the rest of the water. Add and stir if necessary.
  • Spread the dough into the prepared pan. Use a silicon or oiled spatula to press the dough down and spread evenly in the pan. Spritz the top with a bit of oil and sprinkle any reserved sesame seeds on the top. Cover with oiled plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place for 40-60 minutes or until the dough comes almost to the top of the pan.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the interior temperature of the bread is 200°F. Turn onto a wire rack and cool completely before slicing.


  • There are a number of common methods for heating the water to the correct temperature (110°F if proofing the yeast separately; 120°F if mixing the yeast in with your other dry ingredients). If your hot water comes out of the tap at 120°F, you can use that; some folks prefer to use filtered water and heat it in the microwave (60 seconds is usually enough to get from room temp to 120°F ; if the water is over 130°F, let it cool before using) [I’m in this camp]; still other folks boil water on the stove and then add cold water to get to the correct temperature. Whichever method you choose, PLEASE use an instant-read thermometer to tell you the temperature. I don’t care if you raised 6 babies and know how to test liquids on your wrist, that may be good enough for babies, but it is NOT good enough for baking bread!!


OMG!  This may be my best-looking GF loaf EVER!!

[Later:  I can now confirm that the loaf did NOT sink in the middle and does not have big holes in the center!  Yippee!!—Still need to taste it, but have had 4 slices of bread today, so probably not until tomorrow.]

[Update 3/19/12: I can now verify that this bread makes a yummy sandwich!!  I toasted two slices and made a tuna salad/lettuce/mayo sandwich.  Very tasty!  Except for the top crust (with all the sesame seeds) the bread is neutral in a good way—no overwhelming taste of a particular flour, just a nice hearty loaf.  Definitely NOT the “Wonder Bread” of the original recipe . . . more like a “soft, light, wheat, sandwich bread,” but without the wheat 🙂  Yeah! we’ve got a winner with this recipe! ]

© 2012 Highly Sensitive Girl



High Fiber GF Bread Made by Hand

I’ve just added this recipe to the “Bread Diary” but I’m also giving it its own post because it proves that you do not need a stand mixer OR bread machine to bake GF bread.  My stand mixer broke on the last batch of GF bread dough (and I’ve never owned a bread machine) so I decided to throw caution to the wind and see how it would work to mix the dough by hand.  I think one of the keys is that you need to allow the “gums” time to absorb moisture.  In most recipes this is accomplished by mixing/kneading the dough (using a machine) for 5-10 minutes.  I don’t have the strength to mix that long by hand, but gradually adding the ingredients and then mixing and waiting a bit and mixing some more seemed to work!

Baked on March 13, 2012
High Fiber Bread—gluten-free, dairy-free, corn-free

adapted from
Beth and Jen’s High Fiber Bread [p. 36 in Gluten-Free Makeovers by Beth Hillson (2011, DaCapo/LifeLong/Perseus Book Group, Cambridge, MA)]

I only recently discovered amaranth and have yet to try baking with amaranth flour . . . this bread is my first attempt. It definitely has that distinctive “amaranth odor/taste” combined with the equally distinctive “teff odor/taste”. Certainly hearty, like a good whole wheat bread.

The original recipe says: “Makes One 2-pound loaf or 16 slices” which is a bit confusing because it also says to use an 8-1/2″ x 4-1/2″ loaf pan (which is usually thought of as a 1 pound loaf pan). One more of the many confusing aspects of GF baking. I was tempted to use my 10″x5″ loaf pan, but followed the directions and was glad I did.

The ingredients were given in cups and grams. Due to all the substituting I was doing, I used the weights (because the same quantity of a different flour will weigh a different amount, it is generally recommended to use weight rather than volume, especially when substituting) . . . but took note of the volumes that resulted and listed them as well.

The final complication came from no longer having a stand mixer (broke it making the previous loaf of thick gluten-free bread batter) . . . SO, I went back to my old knowledge of mixing bread dough by hand and added a bit of gluten-free common sense (e.g., you do NOT want to try to “knead” GF “dough” by hand . . . much too sticky!). Here’s what I did:

Equipment you will need:

  • 8-1/2″ x 4-1/2″ loaf pan
  • several mixing bowls of various sizes
  • a VERY sturdy wooden spoon or “Danish Dough Whisk”

Sturdy Bowl and Dough Whisk


  • 1/3 cup millet flour (54 grams)
  • 2/3 cup amaranth flour (65 grams)
  • 1/3 cup teff flour (48 grams)
  • 2/3 cup sorghum flour (80 grams)
  • 1/2 cup arrowroot starch (65 grams)
  • 1/2 cup tapioca flour (70 grams)
  • 3-1/2 tsp guar gum
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 3 Tbls brown sugar, packed, divided (46 grams)
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 Tbls vegetable oil
  • 1-1/8 cups warm water (110°F), divided
  • 2-1/4 tsp active dry yeast


  1. Lightly oil an 8-1/2″ x 4-1/2″ sandwich loaf pan.
  2. Measure/weigh the six “flours” (first 6 ingredients) and combine in a medium bowl. Add guar gum, salt, and cream of tartar. Stir/whisk to mix. Measure the brown sugar, reserving 1 tsp in a small bowl for use in proofing the yeast. Sprinkle the rest of the brown sugar 2-2/3 Tbls) over the other dry ingredients.
  3. Pour 1/2 cup of the warm water over the brown sugar in the small bowl. Sprinkle the yeast over the sugar water. Stir to dissolve. Allow to rest for 10 minutes or until foamy. Reserve the remaining 5/8 cup water.
  4. Lightly beat the eggs and oil in a separate medium bowl.
  5. Once the yeast is ready, put about 1 cup of the dry ingredients into a large sturdy bowl. Add the yeast mixture and stir with a heavy wooden spoon or “dough whisk”. Add the egg/oil mixture and stir. Alternately (and gradually) add the remaining dry ingredients and the remaining water (dry-water-dry-water-dry) stirring after each addition. The dough/batter will be VERY thick.
  6. Allow to rest for a few minutes (the gum needs to absorb water) and then stir again.
  7. Scrape the dough into the prepared pan. Cover with oiled plastic wrap and set in a warm, draft-free place to rise for 40-60 minutes, or just until the dough has risen nearly to the top of the pan. Remove the plastic wrap. [Here in Minnesota this always takes longer than the recipes indicate! Be patient!]
  8. Preheat the oven to 350°F while the dough makes its final rise to the top of the pan (if you’ve been letting it rise in the oven, here’s where you take it out!! 🙂 ). Bake the dough on the center rack for 40-50 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the loaf reads 200°F. [I rotate the loaf halfway through the baking time.]
  9. Remove the pan to a wire rack and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Turn out and allow to cool completely.

See additional Notes below the pictures

Yes, the dough needs to be THIS thick, or it will collapse.

Left: half way through baking; Right: end of baking, already dipping in the center.

On the left is the millet-oat bread I made last week in the 10″x5″ pan; on the right is today’s bread made in the 8-1/2″ x 4-1/2″ sandwich bread pan. Goal: a 10″x5″ loaf that rises as high as today’s smaller loaf . . . I’m not really into “dainty” sandwiches! Still, this loaf didn’t taste bad . . . but definitely amaranth-y.


  • I baked mine for 50 minutes, but even though the internal temp was 205°F, the center didn’t look/feel “done” and looked like it would collapse. I tried turning off the oven and allowing it to cool for about 15 minutes in the still-warm oven. Won’t know how mushy the middle is until I cut into it some more. There has already been some collapsing a few hours later. [Note: the interior texture is a bit on the moist/tender side, but toasting takes care of that. No major raw or mushiness inside. Still looking for the GFBread Recipe that I can eat without toasting first!]
  • After much searching on the interwebs (and reading contradictory information in various cookbooks). I’ve decided that even if some people believe you no longer need to “proof” yeast, if I’m using active dry yeast, I will proof it. If I don’t want to bother with proofing, I will use RapidRise or “instant” yeast mixed in with the dry ingredients and slightly warmer water (120°-130°F).
  • BTW—getting GF bread dough to rise and then not collapse after baking are the two biggest challenges I’ve run into so far.

G is for GF Granola

GF Granola

GF Granola Recipe

I found this recipe online (site now defunct) and have now made it enough (and tweaked it enough) to call it a winner.  What I love about it are the cranberries soaked in orange juice—YUMMO!  I will admit that I use regular quick oats (rather than special gluten-free oats) . . . those of you with Celiac Disease should make sure to use special gluten-free oats (e.g., Bob’s Red Mill brand) to avoid possible cross-contamination.  My batch is also half the quantity of the original recipe . . . this works better with my baking pan and oven (and is a quantity I can consume before it might get stale).  Also note that this recipe doesn’t contains nuts, but I don’t see any reason why you couldn’t just throw some in.  Play with it and post your results in the comments below!

GF Granola

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes


  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 3-1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup whole flaxseed [I partially grind mine in my mini-chopper to make them easier to digest.]
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or flavor extract of choice (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Cover an 18- x 12-inch baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a small saucepan, bring cranberries and orange juice to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to warm and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the cranberries are plump and they have absorbed most of the juice. Drain cranberries, removing as much liquid as you can. (You might try putting the cranberries in a strainer and pressing on them with the back of a spoon.)
  3. In a very large bowl, combine oats, oil, salt and flaxseed. Stir until oats and flaxseed are completely covered with oil. Add maple syrup. Stir to mix completely. Add honey. Stir to mix completely. Add brown sugar, extracts and spices (if using). Stir to mix completely. Add drained cranberries. Stir to mix completely.
  4. Spread oat mixture in an even layer on the baking sheet, smoothing with a spatula. Bake for 15 minutes. Stir mixture thoroughly, being careful to move lower layers of oats to the top and smooth with a spatula. Bake for 15 minutes. Stir again, moving lower layers to the top, then bake for 15 minutes. At this point, the granola should be starting to brown on the top. Continue stirring and baking for 5 minute intervals, being careful not to let the granola burn.
  5. When the entire mixture is toasted and browned, carefully remove the granola to a bowl. Let cool. Store in a sealed container at room temperature. This will last at least two weeks on your countertop or in your pantry. [I put half of this batch in a ziploc freezer back and toss it in the freezer, leaving the other half batch in an airtight canister on the counter.]

The pics below show the granola before and after baking:

GF Granola


GF Chocolate Chip Cookes

First a little venting . . . this morning I pull out two different GF cookbooks to compare Chocolate Chip Cookie recipes.  They were almost identical, except for completely OPPOSITE WARNINGS about butter vs. vegetable shortening!!  One said “Don’t use butter or the cookies will spread all over the pan!” and the other said “If you use margarine or shortening instead of butter your cookies will spread more.”

This is what drives me NUTS about cookbooks in general, but GF cookbooks in particular . . . I don’t believe any of these people knows what they are talking about!  Often the authors will actually disagree with THEMSELVES, providing opposite advice in different parts of the cookbook!

In any case, I will be trying to make GF Chocolate Chip Cookies sometime soon.  Most likely I’ll use the same recipe I used several months ago.  They were very yummy!  In any case I’ll be using palm oil shortening (because I’ve given up dairy).

BTW, in trying to research which of the cookbooks was actually correct, I found yet another source who claimed it was the baking soda that makes cookies spread . . . e-gads!

More later . . .

Later: another source says it’s HYDROGENATED shortening that spreads more (and the article assumes all shortening is hydrogenated) . . . but the stuff I use is NON-HYDROGENATED . . . so the plot thickens.  At this point I’m will to give up and just enjoy the cookies! 🙂

My verdict . . . they’re good, but I’m not wild about the special gluten-free mini chocolate chips made of “evaporated cane juice, ‘natural’ non-alcoholic chocolate liquor, and non-dairy cocoa butter”.  I also added walnuts this time.  Other than those updates (I used regular chocolate chips before) same recipe as a few months ago, but they seem greasier to me . . . almost like less fat and more GF flour might be better.  Though that might strain my hand mixer (now that the stand mixer is broken 🙁  ).